President's Message
December 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

It seems to me that these months fly by. When you read this we will have already celebrated Thanksgiving and started the preparations for Christmas. Many social calendars are filled with happy occasions and events more exciting than another civic meeting. Nonetheless, we will have our “Holiday Gathering” meeting on December 5th.

We will have an honored guest at our meeting the newly installed Chancellor of UMASS Boston, Dr. Michael Collins. Let us give the Chancellor a warm welcome. This is a great opportunity to hear Dr. Collins as he addresses our membership. For those in a hurry, Dr. Collins will be on the agenda immediately following the Public Safety Reports.
Speaking of appointments, I would love to appoint some member to the post of Recording Secretary. This is a vital position in our organization that remains at this time unfilled. Any one with an interest, please contact either myself or any one of our officers.

Now a little about those reports. This is probably old news, but we had a shooting at the Sydney Street side of the JFK/UMASS MBTA Station. That was the impetus for a community gathering at the JFK/UMASS station on Friday, November 19th. The slogan used was “Light a Light for Lights.” It was well attended, both by community and Police. The organizers of the event are to be commended. The energy exerted that evening must be tapped by the community at large. I would love to have that energy and people at our civic meetings and extend an invitation to all to join us. More hands would make for less work for all. All are welcome. Your talents are needed. The more that we are a community , the better a community we are.

Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will read of events which either have happened or will happen. My thanks go to all involved.

On a personal note, I have an extra reason to give thanks this year. Her name is Claudia Lucille Donovan and she was born on November 4th to my daughter-in-law Pattie and my son Dan. Since they live in my house, I have additional motivation to continue to make the Columbia-Savin Hill area the best area to live and raise a family.

Please remember to pay your 2006 dues as all dues are for the calendar year.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on December 5th. Bring a friend. Bring an appetite. Good luck on the raffle!
~ Bob Donovan




November 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

This is not a repeat of last month, but the next two paragraphs remain viable. We also need an active Executive Board. The more the merrier. Think about becoming more active in YOUR civic association.

Also, I again want to stress that this year we will be using voting cards at ALL meetings. As you know, one must be a dues paying member in good standing (at least one month) in order to vote on CSHCA matters. We have been sporadic in our enforcement of this measure. We will try to adhere to this at each meeting. In order to accomplish this, we will need to arrive early and to bring our patience. Thank you in advance.

Speaking of appointments, I would love to appoint some member to the post of Recording Secretary. This is a vital position in our organization that remains at this time unfilled. Any one with an interest, please contact either myself or any one of our officers.

At our last two meetings there were discussions regarding Resident Parking. Now it is time to have a representative from Transportation to give us an overview. If you want your area to be represented, please attend willing to take an active role. Without active participation, it will not happen.

We also have invited a representative from the MBTA to address us regarding the new Savin Hill Station along with upkeep of both the Savin Hill and JFK/UMass stations. If you have an issue let it be heard.

Again, this is an election year so I would imagine that candidates for various offices may show at our November meeting. Let’s WOW them with our attendance. If we have the time I will allow the candidates 2 minutes to speak. We will do this on a first come first served basis.

Election day is November 8th. Don’t forget to VOTE!!!

Check the meeting agenda in our newsletter for other topical items of interest to all.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on November 7th. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the Little House Food Pantry collection. Thanksgiving Day will have passed before we meet again.
~ Bob Donovan




October 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

At the time of this going to print our agenda is in a state of flux. Again.

Also, I again want to stress that this year we will be using voting cards at ALL meetings. As you know, one must be a dues paying member in good standing (at least one month) in order to vote on CSHCA matters. We have been sporadic in our enforcement of this measure. We will try to adhere to this at each meeting. In order to accomplish this, we will need to arrive early and to bring our patience. Thank you in advance.

Speaking of appointments, I would love to appoint some member to the post of Recording Secretary. This is a vital position in our organization that remains at this time unfilled. Any one with an interest, please contact any of the officers.

At our last meeting there was a discussion regarding Resident Parking. Instead of having a representative of the Transportation Department at our general meeting, which has been done numerous times in the past, we have decided to set up a smaller meeting with the interested parties, and then report that out at our next meeting.

Again, I want to thank Phil LeBlanc of UMASS Boston Central Reprographics and to UMass student volunteers for coming to our rescue with the printing, folding, stapling, labeling and mailing of last month’s newsletter. On extremely short notice Phil and his staff did an outstanding job in producing our newsletter. It is much appreciated!!!

This is an election year so I would imagine that candidates for various offices may show at our meeting. Let’s WOW them with our attendance. If we have the time I will allow the candidates 2 minutes to speak. We will do this on a first come first served basis.

Check the agenda for other topical items, especially our Planning Board.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on October 3rd. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the Little House Food Pantry collection.
~ Bob Donovan




September 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Welcome back! Here we are at the end of a beautiful summer, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

Even though the summer was beautiful, your civic association still remained active. The Planning Committee under the leadership of Bill Cotter worked with the Executive Board on a number of issues. I would like to publicly thank Bill and the members of his committee for their work. With the extreme heat outside, the meetings were like a sauna, even before we met. Even with the temperature the meetings were coolly run.

One matter that I would like to stress this year is the use of voting cards at ALL meetings. As you know, one must be a dues paying member in good standing (at least one month) in order to vote on CSHCA matters. We have been sporadic in our enforcement of this measure. We will try to adhere to this at each meeting. In order to accomplish this, we will need to arrive early and to bring our patience. Thank you in advance.

At this time our agenda is in a state of flux. We will have our committee reports. Since we last met in June, these reports will take longer than usual. Longer periods of total excitement. Can it get any better? If all goes well our Beatification Committee announce their Curb Appeal Contest winners. For those of you who were there last year, you will remember that Mayor Menino presented the awards to the winners. At that time, he also announced a Dorchester Avenue Project. Congratulations are in order for two of our members, Anne Riley and Eileen Fenton, who have been named to the Dorchester Avenue Project Task Force. These are two well-deserved appointments.

Speaking of appointments, I would love to appoint some member to the post of Recording Secretary. This is a vital position in our organization that remains at this time unfilled. Any one with an interest please contact any of the CSHCA officers.

This is an election year so I would imagine that candidates for various offices may show at our meeting. Let's WOW them with our attendance. If we have the time I will allow the candidates 2 minutes to speak. We will do this on a first come first served basis.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on September 12th. Bring a friend. We will again be providing free childcare for our members and guests. Remember to bring a non-perishable item for the Little House Food Pantry collection.

~ Bob Donovan




June 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Congratulations to Ed Geary, Jr. and Nora McDonnell for their re-election as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. It is with much regret that we lose Gretchen Carney as our Recording Secretary. Gretchen did an outstanding job and her minutes will be sorely missed.

I would like to thank the membership for the honor of representing the Columbia - Savin Hill Civic Association as your President. Having members as Ed, Nora and Gretchen to help with the workload, I have the easiest position. Especially since our Committee Chairs do such an outstanding job for us. This association is much more than one meeting a month.

Now comes the Summer. We will continue our policy of only having Executive Board meetings during July and August. We also combine the Planning Committee with our Executive Board. As we are all aware, the Columbia Savin Hill area is HOT for development. You can see from our Agenda that our Planning Committee is extremely active, and if history proves anything that will continue during the Summer months. It is critical that we remain active and engaged during that time.

As desirable as we are for developers, we also seem to be attracting our fair share of maggots, who continue to break the law in our community. Please read the correspondence between Ed Geary Jr. and Molly Dunford elsewhere in this newsletter. We will have Boston, State and MBTA Police at our meeting. Bring your frustration and criticism if necessary, but also let us try to come up with positive suggestions. Just a thought.

Karl Pastore from DCR will return for an update. Karl has kept his commitment to our Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association. My hope is that we can continue this positive relationship.

From Inspectional Services John Meaney from their Rodent Control Division will also present for our edification.

Check the agenda for other topical items, especially our Planning Board.

Have a great time at the Dorchester Day Parade (again kudos to Ed Geary, Jr.).

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on June 6th. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the food collection.

~ Bob Donovan




May 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Again, to all who wait breathlessly for these newsletter musings, I apologize for my missing last month's issue. Many thanks go to Ed Geary Jr., who filled in most capably. In fact Ed did such a good job I've been trying to enlist him on a regular basis so that every month he could entertain us with his literary genius. No such luck yet, so here goes…

It is that time of the year when we nominate candidates for our offices. To anyone who may be interested in serving in any capacity, please notify someone on the nominating committee. More hands spread the workload. The more the merrier! That being said, I am grateful to all who have joined any of our committees. To be an effective organization we need active participation from our members. That is the case in our committees. All of our committees are working committees whose members put in a great deal of effort. All of this activity can be seen in the results of our neighborhood. We are a vibrant community that continuously strives to be better. A lot of that comes from our various committees.

May 2nd meeting agenda notes:
In keeping with our theme of saluting the Boston Police, the Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole has graciously accepted our invitation to address the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association. Please make a special effort to attend.

Also Joe Pierik, Vice President-Northeast Region of Edens & Avant (South Bay for the unknowing), is on the agenda. Joe Chaisson assures me that Mr. Pierik comes with some exciting news. Also, a special thank you to Joe Chaisson for continually working to help out in many different ways. Thank you, Joe!!

The MBTA is also on our meeting agenda. Specifically the Project Manager for the new Savin Hill Station will address the delay of the scheduled opening. MBTA staff will be on hand for an informational meeting. Again, if you have T concerns, ideas, criticism or praise, please attend this meeting.

In addition to all of the above, we will have our CSHCA committee updates. All in all we should have a great time. Something is sure to strike your fancy. Join us!

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on May 2nd. Bring a friend. Bring a non-perishable item for the Little House Food Pantry collection. We also offer childcare for members and guests who might otherwise not be able to attend our monthly general meetings.

~ Bob Donovan




April 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Bob is away on vacation and hopefully will bring the sunny skies with him upon his return. In his absence I'm writing this month's letter.

This was certainly a tough and long winter, but the warm weather is finally on its way. Spring officially began on March 20th and the temperatures are starting to climb above freezing.

Things are certainly looking up for Savin Hill. The MBTA station construction is coming along, the Water & Sewer construction project is slowly winding down, Super 88 is starting to make strides to be a good neighbor, and we are looking at the creation of the Dorchester Avenue Project. All this could not be done without the dedication of the members in our neighborhood. People like Bob Donovan, Gretchen Carney, Anne Riley, Joe Chaisson, Dianna Wilson, John Anderson, Bill Cotter, Alda Kirsis, and Nora McDonnell constantly step up to the plate when called upon to be there for the community. These folks should all be commended for their volunteerism. You too can get involved in helping shape our community and the Dorchester Avenue Project is a great place to start. The City of Boston is hosting two upcoming meetings to review the project. Information about the meeting dates is listed in this newsletter and hopefully you can make it a point to attend a meeting.

You may remember a few months back we had Karl Pasture from the Department of Conservation and Recreation(DCR) at a general meeting. The membership had asked him a horde of questions dealing with everything from parks being filthy to signage along Morrissey Boulevard. I wrote down the questions that were asked and Anne Riley forwarded them off to him. He will be here with answers to those questions at our meeting.

Last month, we had honored BPD Superintendent Dunford and our former Area C-11 BPD Captain Thomas Lee. This month I've invited the new Area C-11 Police Captain to stop by and say hello.

It's that time of year again. We need a nominating committee to focus on gathering names of people interested in serving as officers of the civic association for the fall. If anyone is interested in chairing or participating in this committee please let us know at the general meeting.

On a sad anniversary note, Sergeant Daniel J Londono, who grew up in Savin Hill, was killed in Iraq last March. On April 1st there will be a square dedicated in his honor at 11 a.m. on the corner of East Cottage Street and Dawes Street. Let's show our neighborhood support to the Londono family and attend the dedication.

Don't forget street cleaning starts up again on April 1st !!!

See you April 4th at the Little House and please bring a non-perishable item for the Little House Food Pantry.

~ Ed Geary Jr.




March 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

To all who wait breathlessly for these musings each month, I apologize for my missing last month's issue. For all who do not know Dianna Wilson and John Anderson do a great deal of work putting this newsletter together. To do so they need to have timelines for contributions. I missed the newsletter deadline (even the extended deadline). Hopefully this one makes it!

March comes in like a lion, and so does our agenda. I will try to move the meeting along in a timely fashion, but we do have a busy schedule.

It gives me much pleasure to award a token of our gratitude to two men who have served our community with outstanding commitment to public safety. Superintendent Robert Dunford has been a friend to our area for years. From Captain of BPD District C-11 to his most recent promotion as Superintendent in charge of all uniformed officers, Supt. Dunford has displayed the utmost professionalism. His recognition is long overdue. When Capt. Dunford left C-11, we were left with a great void to fill. Who could fill his shoes?? The newly promoted Deputy Superintendent Thomas Lee answered the question. Captain Lee did such an outstanding job that we now have the same problem as before. We have been blessed to have such capable and quality individuals to lead our local public safety issues and concerns. We wish them well!! Any way we still have Molly.

Speaking of Molly Dunford, we will have the opportunity to meet her new Director, Mr. Jay Walsh. As you can see from our agenda, Neighborhood Services is an area of the city services, which we frequent often. From the development of condos, to the Super88, to the reuse of St. William's, to the beautification of Dorchester Ave., we utilize Director Walsh's dept. constantly. We appreciate his openness to come to our meeting. Come out to introduce yourself. Remember there is strength in numbers.

Lastly, we had discussions last month of Food Pantries. We support the Little House's effort by collecting canned goods at our meeting. Let's all bring an item (more if you wish) for the Little House Food Pantry.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on March 7th. Bring a friend.

~ Bob Donovan




February 2005

The Presidents' Letter feature of this newsletter will be re-appearing in next months' edition of The Neighbors. Deadlines and weather constraints were factors in its' not being published this month. Many apologies.




January 2005

To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Our next meeting is January 10th in the year 2005. That is a change for it is the second Monday of the month and instead of the first.

I thought that our December meeting went extremely well. Sorry for the extended presentations, but they could not be delayed. The party was a smashing success! Many thanks to all who helped make it so. A special thanks goes out to Ann Nee and The Little House for allowing us to use their facility. Elsewhere in this newsletter there is a listing of all who contributed to our raffle. Many thanks to our local businesses and citizens who constantly step up and help whenever asked. Honestly some do not even wait to be asked. It is quite a tribute to their generous nature.

Gretchen Carney, Ed Geary, Jr., Paul Nutting, Joe Chaisson, and my son Daniel Donovan deserve a special pat on the back for helping to organize the party. As with anything that happens with this organization, many people are needed to share the workload. Thank you to all those mentioned and others unmentioned who keep this an active and vital association.

At the last meeting there was a topic concerning the IBEW's attempt to erect a turbine tower for training purposes. During the discussion, it was stated that the Clam Point Association had approved the item. What was not stated was the fact that Clam point is to receive $2,500.00 from the union. I did not find this out till after the meeting. For some reason it distresses me. Personally I would be very uncomfortable as President if a similar situation ever was presented to the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association. However there are a number of non-profit agencies that could use extra funds. Obviously money is being made. I just do not think that financial interests should influence our votes. Let me know if I am wrong.

We will have three items on our agenda. Representatives from The Big Apple Circus will appear for an informational talk. We will also be discussing the traffic light situation at the entrance to UMASS Boston at Morrissey Blvd. I would like to thank Tran Trang of Representative Marty Walsh's office for organizing the guests. And finally we will have a presentation from the Edward Everett Square Project Committee. You may have seen their centerpiece landmark "pear". As usual, we will have our police reports and committee reports.

Our condolences to Nora McDonnell on the passing of her father Jim. Jim was a fixture for many years at many community events. Our neighborhood is better because of Jim McDonnell. May he rest in peace.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on January 10th.

Don't forget to update your memberships!

~ Bob Donovan




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